Wick Fisher White is one of the oldest, continuously practicing mechanical and electrical engineering firms in the Philadelphia area. We have a proud and significant history.
WFW emerged as an engineering and commissioning leader since its beginning in 1901 in the City of Philadelphia. Its founder, Isaac Hathaway (I.H.) Francis, started the firm after he received his mechanical engineering degree from Cornell University. From the beginning, he worked with many great architects including Paul Philippe Cret, Zantzinger & Borie, and Tilden & Pepper. He was associated with projects in many now historic buildings including the Federal Reserve Bank, the American Philosophical Society, and the Pan American Union Building in Washington, DC.
Our long tradition of the design of telecommunication facilities began around 1920 when I.H Francis provided engineering services for dozens of telephone central offices around the State of Pennsylvania. The telephone company and mission critical facilities continue to remain an important part of our work load today.
In 1936, I.H. Francis brought in new leadership to the firm and the name was changed to Moody & Hutchison. The firm’s resume expanded to include educational facilities and hospitals. Chestnut Hill Academy, The Eddystone School, The Philadelphia Naval Hospital & Medical Center and Pennsylvania Hospital entered the project lists. The firm began working with still more architects, most notably George M. Ewing, Karcher & Smith while continuing working relations with and George W. Pepper, Zantzinger & Borie, and Paul P. Cret. The company’s work continued to flourish with the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania, while completing many more projects during this time period.
In 1964, another leadership transition took place. William Golz and David Wick were the newest leadership duo with the name changing to Moody, Hutchison, Golz and Wick. Golz and Wick worked with Architect Maurice Fletcher to complete the One Parkway high rise building in Philadelphia. This transitional period lasted until 1969 when the firm was renamed Golz and Wick. During this time, the firm continued to diversify its client base. They had a superior reputation with many building owners with whom relationships were developed based on trust and commitment. It was apparent that Golz and Wick’s expertise in critical systems design continued to be acknowledged and appreciated by Bell Telephone. At this time, Golz and Wick were almost exclusive in providing engineering services for all the Bell Telephone Central Offices in the State of Pennsylvania.
As the 1970’s rolled in, Golz and Wick’s resume of projects continued with their long time clients. A large amount of their work continued to be the design of mechanical and electrical systems serving critical telecommunications facilities. The firm’s engineering projects included new critical buildings, emergency generators, turbines, switchgear and the design of fully redundant air conditioning systems to support the network. During this time, Golz and Wick also worked extensively with The Wilmington Trust Company, the Lancaster Medical Office Building, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church and the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, DC.
In 1980, the firm was renamed Golz, Wick and Fisher for two years then changed again to Wick and Fisher with Bob Fisher as the newest partner. In 1984, the firm became Wick Fisher White when Mike White was named a shareholder in the firm. During this period, the firm’s reputation continued to flourish. The firm still performed worked in the critical facilities market segment, but also expanded into the healthcare and education sectors.
Mike White continued Wick Fisher White’s growth throughout the 1990’s by adding more diverse work which included pharmaceutical clients, religious institutions, manufacturing plants and retail facilities. Wick Fisher White had grown into almost every sector of the industry, but especially into healthcare, higher education, research & laboratory work.
Projects for the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University and US Healthcare were added to our resume in large numbers. In addition WFW became involved with additional critical telecommunications through a new relationship with AT&T.
In 2000, Bruce Ernst became President of the firm and he continued to expand its base. He made the firm more diversified by targeting work in many new and different types of facilities. Our long standing work with system commissioning was formalized and our relationships with companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Comcast, and Verizon continued to strengthen. Large and complex projects, both locally and nationally, were completed and Verizon Wireless became a new major client. With this diversification, WFW was able to withstand the downturn of the economy in 2009 and 2010. Not long after, another WFW ownership change was taking place once again. Bruce Ernst promoted several new leaders to manage the company.
In 2013, the current ownership took affect and they will continue to lead the company to new pinnacles of success. WFW goals moving forward are to continue to excel, grow and expand in various areas of design and commissioning including mission critical, research labs, retail, corporate office, healthcare and other industry sectors. We continue to work directly with corporations as well as with many fine local and national architects.
Wick Fisher White has held onto the vision of our founder which has been enhanced by each new generation of ownership. This vision will allow us to continue to achieve great accomplishments and exceed the goals of our projects along with the expectations of our clients while keeping us true to our roots of engineering excellence with superior client service.